Bruins Fall in Playoff at English Turn
Feb. 26, 2013
The Bruins are back.
Though they lost in a playoff to arch-rival USC on Tuesday at English Turn Golf and Country Club in the annual Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship, the Bruins served notice that the game is on.
After a Fall season in which they finished no better than eighth place in four starts, watched their No. 2 preseason ranking plummet to 37th, and saw their scoring average rise above 298, the Bruins, in their last two tournaments, have entered the national championship conversation.
The truth is there for all to see.
The fact is that the Bruins beat the second, third and fourth-ranked teams in the country -- all in their own time zone -- on a course in which they were all familiar. Second-ranked Duke, the defending champion, was three shots back, No. 3 Florida was 16 shots behind and fourth-ranked Florida fell by 13 shots.
On Tuesday, UCLA hung tough and managed solid play down the stretch in wet, muddy conditions. Seniors Lee Lopez and Tiffany Lua tied for second and fifth, respectively. Both players carded scores of one-over par 73 in the final round. Lopez's total of 142 (-2) was tied with Kelsey Vines, the top-ranked player in the country, and Lua's sum of 143 (-1) was tied with three others.
Both teams tied for first at 580 (+4) after the tournament was shortened because of inclement weather. In the playoff, the UCLA fivesome played the 18th hole in even par; USC's Sophia Popov birdied the hole to give her team a one-shot victory.
At the NCAA Championship in May, it may well be determined by a single stroke again.
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